‘Secrets Beneath the Ice’ Goes Back in Time to Predict the Future

BY Lauren Knapp and Hari Sreenivasan  December 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM EDT

Editor’s note: In one portion of the footage, the Larsen Ice Shelf is misspelled.

In late January 2002, the Larsen Ice Shelf, a piece of ice approximately the size of Manhattan, began breaking up. By the beginning of March, it had disintegrated completely.

The dramatic event became a rallying cry for environmentalists. It also focused new attention on Antarctica from climatologists, geologists and environmental scientists.

Now, scientists are trying to understand how Antarctica will be affected by the predicted 3-5 degree increase in temperature, and the impact it would have on sea levels. Some geologists are digging deep into the earth to find the answers.

NOVA’s latest documentary, ‘Secrets Beneath the Ice’, follows these dedicated engineers and scientists as they drill through the ice and into the bedrock to find million-year-old clues from Antarctica’s geological record.

Hari Sreenivasan talked to NOVA Science Editor Evan Hadingham about the documentary and why Antarctica is so important to the conversation about climate change.

Follow @Hari on Twitter.